Last month, I reviewed Derek Lam 10 Crosby Give Me the Night, a fave recent purchase, and noted that I was impressed enough by that one to blind buy the collection’s other 2020 releases in solid format. The other two fragrances, A Hold On Me and Love Deluxe, arrived the same week that review was published, and I’ve since had adequate time to test and compare all three.
Having tried them all, Give Me the Night is still winner and champion amongst the entire Derek Lam 10 Crosby collection. Scent is so subjective, and that one just “clicks” with me in a way that the others do not. However, all three 2020 releases are nice scents, all represent a big improvement over the original collection and honestly, they deserve more attention than they received upon release. Further, the solids are an absolute steal: my “chubby sticks” in the ziplock bags are in the $6 to $7 range as of this publication date. The deluxe-packaged solids from the original collection are in the $15 to $20 range, which is also excellent for a designer fragrance. I’ll include a link to the vendor below.
A quick run-down of the boring-but-important details from my Give Me the Night review which are also applicable here:
Size: 0.15 oz./4.5 grams.
Packaging: A white plastic twist-up tube, inside a reusable/resealable ziplock plastic bag. The tube and bag are recyclable.
Base: Ozokerite, mineral oil, petrolatum, beeswax, jojoba seed oil, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2.
Vegan-friendly: No, due to the beeswax and possibly due to bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, which can be animal- or vegetable-derived (source). Vegans may want to try the liquid version instead.
Color and Texture: off-white, with a firm but creamy texture that swipes easily across skin, without leaving an oily residue.
Natural perfume or mixed media: Only the generic “fragrance” is included in the ingredients lists, so these are presumably mixed media or entirely synthetic.
Now to the good stuff!
A Hold On Me
Fragrance description and notes: The brand’s original minimalist schtick is still at play here in the official description and notes listings. From the product listing on Macy’s:
“Morning light blooms from the city concrete. Glimpses of sunshine, crisp linens and the faint memory of her lover’s essence linger on her skin, even after the brisk shower. Captive, bright and fresh—the promise of new love.
Notes: Tiger lily, Pimento berry essence”
As with Give Me the Night, I’m certain there are more notes in the composition than the two listed by the brand. My guesses include gardenia or jasmine–some kind of indolic floral note (or is tiger lily indolic? I can’t recall if tiger lily even has a scent?), amber and musk.
Longevity: this one did not last as long as Give Me the Night‘s 12 hours, instead averaging about five hours on skin. That’s still decent for a solid.
Sillage: The fragrance goes on with moderate sillage but settles quickly (in less than an hour) to intimate.
The experience: Something about A Hold On Me smells so familiar. Miller Harris L’Air de Rien and Etat Libre d’Orange Charogne come to mind, though it has been years since I’ve smelled either one. My cat typically dislikes synthetic perfumes (and actively backed away from Love Deluxe) but found A Hold On Me quite interesting and I think I know why. There’s a pronounced indolic/animalic aroma in the scent, which I can best describe as a hint of halitosis masked by bubblegum. It sounds unpleasant but it really isn’t–emphasis is on the sweet bubblegum in that equation. If you like the bleu cheese facets of gardenia scents, or the skanky indoles of natural jasmine fragrances, A Hold On Me will ring your chimes.
A couple quick reference sniffs of the ground Jamaican allspice in my cupboard confirm the presence of the “Pimento berry” (a less pedestrian name for allspice) note in this fragrance. Lots of other things are in the mix, too, I suspect. A Hold On Me is actually a complex, well-blended floral amber fragrance, bordering on gourmand, that would be perfect for date nights and intimate occasions. I rarely say a fragrance is too sexy for daytime/office wear, but A Hold On Me has just enough skank to be a distraction if you’re in close contact with others at your office. Despite the marketing blurb, it is NOT a fresh linens and freshly-showered morning kind of fragrance. I find A Hold On Me more akin to the night before–the, um, activities which created the need for fresh linens and a shower. Your mileage may vary.
Fragrance description and notes: From the product listing on Ulta:
“Her lips are a vibrant blush, which matches the satin wallpaper in her downtown loft. For her, a decadent dinner consists of cheeseburgers, fries and French pastries—all served on bone china—because life is too short, she insists.
She’s enveloped herself in flair, drama, excess and her partner’s embrace… hers, is a love deluxe.
“Top: Chinese magnolia, wild hyacinth, angelica essence, calamondin orange
Middle: Bulgarian rose essence, Turkish rose absolute, damascus plum, purple iris flower accord
Base: patchouli coeur, ambrette seed absolute, cedarwood, touch of moss, meliotus (sweet clover).”
(Hmmm. This is the only perfume in the collection which includes such a detailed note listing in its marketing copy. Was it an accident or some kind of marketing test that led to such a complete published list of notes?)
Longevity: Also not a match for Give Me the Night‘s marathon 12 hours, but slightly longer than A Hold On Me. I typically get five to six hours of wear from Love Deluxe, which is good for a solid.
Sillage: As with A Hold On Me, Love Deluxe begins with moderate projection and quickly becomes intimate.
The experience: I like rose fragrances, in theory, but it’s rare that I gravitate toward a rose soliflore. The rose fragrances that grab me tend to be dry, dusty, woody affairs such as Love Deluxe. I haven’t had one of these in my collection for awhile (Early Aughts cheapie Grès Cabaret was probably the last one, actually, and it’s still a favorite in this category), so Love Deluxe presented a nice opportunity for me to fill this gap with an affordable gem.
Love Deluxe is a woody rose fragrance with no sweetness whatsoever–it’s more like dried rose petals than jammy, fresh-picked roses. I get zero orange or plum notes. Hyacinth abounds in the opening before the roses kick in. Having an appreciation for roses is probably a requirement for full enjoyment of this fragrance, but if you don’t love rose notes, hang tight for 30-45 minutes. The fragrance evolves into a pleasant woody floral bouquet in which the rose is now just a supporting player. The dry down is clean and a bit sharp, even, as the flowers peel away from the wood and patchouli.
Love Deluxe doesn’t break any new ground (none of the Derek Lam 10 Crosby fragrances do), but it deserves credit for doing its job very well. It’s hands down the most fully developed composition of the fragrance collection, even if it’s not the scent I love best. This one is an easy grab that would be suitable for almost any occasion and I know I’ll enjoy wearing it.
Where to buy: The liquids are available at Macy’s and Von Maur (shout-out to my Midwest peeps!), if you want to try to test them in person. Many gray market retailers including Walmart and Perfumania also offer the liquids. The solids for this collection, as well as liquid samples, full-size liquids and 10 ml liquid travel sizes, are available at great prices from gray market retailer Scented Monkey on Ebay. All three of my Derek Lam 10 Crosby solids were purchased here.
Additional Notes: the packaging includes a period-after-opening symbol that indicates 18 months.
All photographs by me.